THE TAX ATTIC with Jerry Coon

Jerry Coon

Convention held at Fenway Park

Money Concepts, the financial planning company that I am associated with, recently held their International Financial Planning Convention in Boston. Neither Deb nor I had previously been to Boston, so we were looking forward to the convention and also taking in some of the historical sites in and around Boston. For a baseball fan like me, when I mention “historical sites” and “Boston” in the same sentence, I am predominantly thinking of Fenway Park and its famous left-field wall called the Green Monster.

The convention always has a fun night out and this year’s fun night was scheduled to be an after-hours party at Fenway Park with the featured speaker being none other than Jim Rice, Boston’s Hall of Fame left fielder. I could hardly wait. I didn’t expect to be able to see a game, but going to the park and perhaps getting a chance to ask the great Jim Rice a question or two was plenty.

Well, I got much more than that. One of the other attendees had an extra ticket for Sunday’s game and, if I was interested, that ticket would be made available to me. Since it would be an afternoon game, it would pretty well kill an entire day, so I had to clear that one through Deb. She only made me minimally beg before agreeing to let me go. My thanks go to Deb and also to Susan, the associate with the ticket for thinking

of me.

When I go into a major league ball park, I almost get chills. I may be in my 50s now, but seeing Boston’s green field that day immediately brought back memories of my first sight of Tiger Stadium when I was just a youngster and my first sight of Wrigley Field many years ago. Those old parks have character.

As Jim Rice aptly put it when he spoke on Wednesday night, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are the only two “ball parks” left in the world. The new parks are all “stadiums” and stadiums don’t have character. Fenway Park has the Green Monster and the Pesky Pole in right field, and Wrigley Field has the outfield ivy and its “friendly confines.” They are the last of a vanishing breed.

I did get to ask Jim Rice a couple of questions about hitting, got to shake his hand, and took some pictures. It was great.

Deb, I and our daughter Kim also walked the Freedom Trail, toured the U.S.S. Constitution, and stood in some of those places where our American history was made. That was great, too. We didn’t see quite as many sites as we wanted, after all I did have a convention to which I did attend, so I believe we will go back to Boston some future day to finish up the tour, so to speak.

At the end of the convention, Denis Walsh, president and CEO of Money Concepts had some final words of encouragement, told us when and where next year’s convention will be held, and sent us out the door.

Jack Walsh, his father and founder of Money Concepts, had the habit of winding up the conference by going over the five things that make a professional a professional. These principles are given in the context of the financial planning professions, but they apply to all of us in whatever occupation we have. Jack is no longer able to attend the conferences for health reasons but, in his honor, I would like to review those five points. I have written about these five principles before, but feel that they are very worthy of going over again.

First, professionals have an enormous conviction of success. At whatever project they attempt, they know they are going to succeed. They also have that rare ability to get fellow workers to step up their game, so to speak, and perform at a higher level.

Second, professionals like money. They like to earn money, they like to spend money, and they like to save money. Professionals are able to strike a balance between business and personal; not letting the earning of money take control of their lives.

Third, professionals have a top capacity for work. They work by the objective and are able to work long and hard when necessary to reach an objective.

Fourth, a professional is a student of the game. A professional never stops learning. Continued education is an important component of today’s world.

Finally, fifth, professionals have a vision; a dream of what their future will look like. That vision or dream sets the path to be followed. As Denis and Jack have stated in the past, Martin Luther King didn’t say, “I think we can do this.” He said, “I have a dream.”

There is much to be learned from these five principles. It’s good to review them and see how we stack up. This is Jerry Coon signing off.

 Jerry Coon is an Enrolled Agent. He owns Action Tax Service in Rockford. Contact Jerry at

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